And I would like to thank all my past mistakes

Where would I be without you?!


I had a meeting with a client yesterday in which they were still holding on to their past which is hindering them moving forward with a future.


They were at the point of being able to see the moment where things went bad, yet cannot let go in order to feel comfortable moving forward.  Then I asked an important question:


What did you learn?


When we start to look back and see our past not as a matter of mistakes or conglomeration of errors but rather learning experiences then we really have discovered a key in moving forward.


I am so grateful for all my past mistakes!  Without them I would not be where I am today or who I am today!  Yay screw-ups!!


I learned what is important to me, what is not, my strengths and where my challenges lie; I learned how to defend myself, better myself, let go, move on, dream, achieve, forgive, accept; and I learned how to allow the positives in while releasing other people’s issues.


I learned what type of environment I thrive in and which ones suck the life out of me.  I learned what aspects are important enough to stand up for and which ones were enough to walk away from.  I learned how to communicate, how to participate, how to lead and how to follow.


All of these things I learned from having bad jobs, bad bosses, bad boyfriends, bad client experiences and just plain old bad decisions.


Oh sure, I spent time boo-hooing over these events.  Oh my goodness, my boss was mad at me, I almost got fired (ok, I quite before they could fire me), I sucked at that job, he broke up with me, I screwed up the client work, blah, blah, blah – how will I ever be hired again, how will I ever meet a nice guy blah, blah, blah.


That served no purpose except to help eliminate all remnants of Godiva Belgian Dark Chocolate ice-cream in my county, to say the least.  But other than that, boo-hooing really does not good.  I admit you have to do so and get it out of your system, but then it is time to just move on.


The bosses did, the companies did, the boyfriends did so why shouldn’t I?  Let’s face it, no one is going to come back and say, “I’m sorry I fired you; how can I help you succeed in the future?”  It is like your ex-boyfriend setting you up with his best friend – it just doesn’t happen.


It is from the bad that I learned the most.  And for that I am grateful.  It helps me serve my clients better, be a better friend, girlfriend, and member of my family.  Here is the key: I learned.  I had to take ownership.


So I looked back to see where these things got all screwed up and took a look at it from a new perspective.


Did I really like that job?  Did I do everything that I could to have salvaged it?  For some of those screw ups I realized that I had a hand in sabotaging it myself.  That told me something – if I really like it then I would have made sure that I was doing what I was supposed to do.


Other times there were factors that were out of my control.  Hey, if a boss or boyfriend is an ass then they are just an ass – don’t take ownership of it.


But that is only half the battle.


Identification is great.

Identifying lessons is awesome.

Putting them into practice is vital.


You may see your patterns of behavior but unless you change them you will continue to get the same results.  If you want to change the results but not the actions then you are just plain out of luck.  Sorry cupcake, it is not going to happen.


So I know what type of clients I work well with – who I can help the most and who I cannot help.  I know the environments in which I thrive and those that I need to bring in back up.  I am confident in my abilities to know what value I bring to the table and that confidence allows me to stay true to myself.  I do not feel the need to please all people at all times at the expense of myself.


I also have learned when to be flexible, listen and accept.  Some things are just out of your control; however if the company is willing to provide support and assistance in improving your skill set then be a man and take it.  Accept collaboration, communication and meeting in the middle to better all parties.


Although it should be, the world does not revolve around me.  I learned that I needed to open myself up for criticism and critique which has helped me improve my skills and value.  For that I am grateful.  Without the boo-hoo experiences I would never have gotten to the place of feeling so blue that I had no choice but to change.  That choice involved allowing new perspectives and opinions to enter into the equation and the result was more than I ever got from the successes.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


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